Roaring ’20s gala for Community Foundation from Palo Alto Daily News

When costumed guests arrived at the beautifully restored Los Altos Hills Tudor mansion, Stonebrook Court, it looked like a scene from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great Gatsby.”

The occasion was “A Roaring ’20s Gala: Los Altos Community Foundation Celebrates 20 years of Community!”

Women wearing flapper dresses, feather headdresses and lots of long beaded necklaces, and their gangster and/or gentlemen partners enthusiastically celebrated friendship, the illustrious history of the organization.

Before dinner, homeowner Kelly Porter said it was a “coming out party for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills,” and that he hoped it would be the beginning of many more fun occasions.

Foundation founder and Executive Director Roy Lave welcomed 225 guests to the garden party that featured a photo opportunity with a collection of antique cars, a silent and live auction, a gourmet dinner on the lawn, dancing on the terrace to the music of Jazz ConneXion, casino play in the grand ballroom, and a champagne toast by Foundation Board President Dennis Young.

Longtime supporters Bill and Claudia Coleman and Steve and MicheleKirsch posed with antique cars donated by attendees.

Some of the guests were as colorful as Fitzgerald’s jazz-era characters. Rich Redelfs showed off his Thompson machine gun, and Gay Krause completely covered her short dress with dollar bills.

Lave presented an interesting history of the foundation, bestowed bouquets of summer flowers on gala co-chairwomen Lani Dorff and Nancy Manning, and gave special recognition to original donors and board members, including King and Ginny Lear, Roger Brunello, Ann and George Limbach, Mary Prochnow, Vicki and Dan Reeder, Marge and Mike Bruno, Jean and Art Carmichael, Bob Grimm and Penny Lave.

Proceeds from this first fundraising event are to continue the work of the foundation, which originator Jim Reynolds envisioned to be a vehicle for making donations to the community. The foundation is involved with sponsoring new charitable nonprofit organizations, managing and disbursing grant funds and bringing the community together. The E-cubed youth program is an example: It aims to “educate, engage and empower local youth to effect positive change in their local and world communities.”

Volunteer auctioneer state Sen. Joe Simitian sold a seven-course wine dinner at Stonebrook Court (it included a personal tour of the mansion by Kelly Porter) that will be hosted by past board chairmen. Longtime supporters Larry and Anne Hambly made one of the winning bids. New to the foundation were Gayla and Walt Wood, who won a three-night say in a gorgeous vacation home in Deer Valley, Utah.

“The spirited celebration was a fitting tribute to Los Altos Community Foundation’s 20 years of building community,” Lave said.


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